Indian boxers reaped a bountiful crop of Tokyo 2020 berths over the course of Sunday and Monday’s quarter-final bouts at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers, with as many as eight pugilists securing their spots.
With the primary goal of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics now out of the way, these Indian boxers can let it all hang out in the semi-final rounds which get underway on Tuesday.
Vikas Krishnan, Lovlina Borgohain to head morning session
Staying calm under pressure while delivering on-target punches against Japan's Quincy Okazawa, Vikas Krishan became the second Indian boxer after Vijender Singh to have qualified for three Olympic Games.
The Asian Games gold medallist will now take on Kazakhstan's Ablaikhan Zhussupov, a World Championship bronze-medallist (2017 and 2019) and Asian Games silver-medallist (2017), in Tuesday's men’s welterweight (63-69kg) semi-final.
Seeded second in the women's welterweight (64-69kg), Lovlina Borgohain triumphed over Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva on Sunday to become the second Indian woman to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
With her Tokyo 2020 ticket safely in tow, Lovlina Borgohain will face China's Gu Hong in Tuesday's semi-final. The third-seeded Gu Hong made the cut for her maiden Olympics after defeating Kazakhstan's Valentina Khalzova.
An evening with a Rani (queen), two Kumars and a Kaur
Pooja Rani from Bhiwani marked Women's Day by becoming the first Indian boxer to earn a berth at the 2020 Olympics after upstaging Pornnipa Chutee convincingly in the quarter-final.
The 29-year-old Indian boxer now faces reigning world and Asian champion Li Qian of China, who is also the top seed, in the women's middleweight (69-75kg) semi-final.
Then there’s Ashish Kumar, who dedicated Sunday's emotional win over Indonesia’s Maikhel Muskita to his late father.
Now safely through to the 2020 Olympics, Ashish Kumar will take on Philippines' Eumir Marcial in the men's welterweight (63-69kg) semi-final Tuesday evening.
The 24-year-old Eumir Marcial has been in hot form, winning the gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December and also clinching the silver medal in the World Boxing Championships.
Satish Kumar, meanwhile, was not just the fifth Indian on the day to earn a 2020 Olympics berth but the first ever from the nation to qualify for the Olympics from the super heavyweight division.
Satish Kumar will go up against 2019 World Champion Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan in Tuesday's semi-final. Jalolov’s last foray at the Games, in the men's super heavyweight category at the 2016 Rio Olympics, saw him make it as far as quarter-finals.
Finally, the last of the eight to secure a spot, Simranjit Kaur will take on 2019 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships silver-medallist Wu Shih-Yi in the women's lightweight (57-60kg) category.
When and where to watch the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers
You can follow all the action from the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers live exclusively on the Olympic Channel as well as our Facebook page. The morning session will get underway at 2:30 PM IST while the evening session is scheduled to begin at 8:30 PM IST.
You can also follow the daily live blog in both English and Hindi on the Olympic Channel.